Advice needed for planting asparagus roots : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I hope some of you great gardeners out there can help a novice. I was recently given 20 asparagus roots. No planting instructions and my gardening book does not make it clear.

Do I plant now or wait? I live in the NW, sometimes freezes and snows. Can I plant them on mounds and cover them with mulch. I am told (by other not so great gardeners) that they are easy to grow and come back each season. I have tried so many new things since becoming GI that this is one more thing I will learn and keep for the future. Let's face it, I'm clueless about asparagus. Can anyone take pity and give me a few steps to get started? Any help is appreciated muchly!

Just keepin' on, keepin' on

-- Sammie Davis (, September 18, 1999


While I'm not sure about your weather at this time of year...asparagus will not give you much of anything the first year...the older the bed the more you get. Mulch, and soil amendments are a must to attend to...

Get them in the ground ASAP, and do a web search and you'll get beaucoup information.

-- Donna (, September 18, 1999.

Sammie, get them under the ground now with the roots spread out like an umbrella and protect with mulch if you think it will be cold. Don't cut them the first spring but let the little shoots grow tall and feathery. Snails love them. The second year you cut a few skinny stalks but let most of the plants grow undisturbed. Third year is the real bonanza time. Look for them in February or March, especially if you plant them in a sunny spot (recognizing you are in the NW where that may be scarce!).

I have a brown thumb and dry, clayey soil but my plants turn into TREES every summer. In summer they have inconspicuous yellow flowers (looking like ant-sized little bells). By fall the mature plants may have little red berries and you can try to propagate from seed. Probably won't spring up true to breed but you could get baby asparagus to give away or trade.

Have fun and good luck!

-- Margaret J (, September 19, 1999.

Thanks for the advice! I have printed it out and will use it. I just love this forum, where else can you find such great participants willing to help so quickly!

[appreciation mode ON permanently]

-- Sammie Davis (, September 19, 1999.

Sammie- out here in the NE, we plant in early spring- don't know about planting dates in your area, but get them planted rather than let them dry out I suppose- unless you can keep them in the fridge til spring of course. when you plant, put lots of compost into a trench- about 8-12 inches deep is best. Put the roots in spread out like an octopus. cover with soil. that's about it. Keep it weeded (sigh)- first year don't pick. second year- depends on if you got male hybrids or not- if so- can pick for 2 weeks. If not- wait til year 3- pick for two weeks. then- year 3, 4 weeks, after that, full season. pick only spears thicker than a pencil. After picking, let ferns grow up and develop- don't cut them. Every year in very early spring- apply lots of compost. that's about it. a good bed can last for 20-50 years I believe.

-- farmer (, September 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ